Project Director

Auchter, Jessica

Department Examiner

Wintersieck, Amanda; Strickler, Jeremy


Dept. of Political Science, Public Administration and Nonprofit Management


University of Tennessee at Chattanooga

Place of Publication

Chattanooga (Tenn.)


The research in this paper seeks to analyze the rhetoric surrounding issues of American foreign policy using the Iran Deal as a case study. The main question this research intends to answer is: Are suggested soft power policy solutions, such as that of the Iran Deal, characterized as either feminine or masculine? I seek to answer this question through a discourse analysis of the rhetoric in newspaper articles from The New York Times and The Washington Post about the Iran Deal from the year 2015. I identify common themes and phrases among these articles and draw my own conclusions about their frequency and relationship. Ultimately, I find that soft power policy solutions are characterized through the use of both feminine and masculine language depending on whether or not the owner of the rhetoric is supportive or unsupportive of the policy. This research begs the question of whether or not feminine language is used to render a soft power policy solution as inherently less legitimate than hard power policy solutions. Implications regarding soft power policies, women and heterosexual men in the field of foreign policy, and the difference in value given to masculinity and femininity will be discussed.


Thank you to Melanie Martin and Sara Leach for constantly believing in my ability to complete this project, and for consistently reminding me of that ability. Thank you to Drs. Amanda Wintersieck and Jeremy Strickler for providing feedback throughout the process that made my project stronger. And finally, and endless thank you to Dr. Jessica Auchter for pushing me to complete a project that I was proud of, for calming me down when I was in crisis mode, and for giving me an endless amount of support; I truly could not have done this project without her direction.


B. S.; An honors thesis submitted to the faculty of the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga in partial fulfillment of the requirements of the degree of Bachelor of Science.




Nuclear weapons -- Iran


United States -- Foreign relations -- Iran; Iran -- Foreign relations -- United States


International relations; Gender; Discourse analysis; Foreign policy; Iran deal; Masculinity


Political Science

Document Type



60 leaves




Under copyright.